I didn't realize that Alan Hale enjoyed a brief career as a director in the 1920s. If the most amusing and delightful "Rubber Tires" (1927) is typical of his output, he was indeed an extremely competent artist who could not only produce great performances from his players, but extract plenty of smoothly pleasant fun from his script. Mind you, his players, led by the delightful Bessie Love, handsome Harrison Ford, heart-of-gold if seemingly grouchy May Robson and amusingly luckless Erwin Connelly, were certainly mighty talented to start off with, although Hale assuredly brings out all their natural charisma. His locations and the cars themselves also prove enormous fun to look at. In contrast to his own movie presence, Hale's touch and timing are not in any way heavy, but surprisingly light and subtle. True, there is a comically emphatic Jewish trader who moves the action along most successfully. Hale skilfully uses this frantically conventional figure of fun to make a splendid contrast with the hazard-prone, cross-country trekking Stack ensemble. I enjoyed Miss Bessie Love's ingratiating performance a lot more in this charmingly diverting excursion than her rowdy little trouper in "The Broadway Melody" (1929) or her nondescript heroine of "The Lost World" (1925).
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